Globe public editor: Excellent article, wrong photograph

By Sylvia Stead, public editor for The Globe and Mail

By Sylvia Stead, public editor for The Globe and Mail

A tweet was sent out from The Globe and Mail’s account promoting an excellent and original report by Paul Koring on a scenario for what might have happened to the missing Malaysian plane.

The tweet attracted criticism from some who complained that it intruded on the grief of the woman pictured and others who objected to the connection between the photo and the headline.

The same photo is part of the online article and it is sent out on different applications to mobile and Twitter, for example. On the desktop application, the photo is small but on the Tweet and other applications, the image is dominant and is accompanied by a very strong headline.

In my view, photos of public grief such as that of the woman here are justified in the correct context as part of the news story about their grief. That photo was published originally on Wednesday afternoon and in Thursday’s paper when the relatives met for a public briefing by officials near the Kuala Lumpur airport. Included in the story was this description: “In a heart-wrenching scene, one woman was dragged away, weeping and screaming. “I want you to help me to find my son! I just want to see my boy.'"

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